Facts about extradition and surrender

Different rules apply within the EU (surrender) and outside the EU (extradition).

Due to general agreements in the European Arrest Warrant Act, Sweden cannot extradite a person who has been surrendered to Sweden from another country without certain considerations.

Concerning surrender to another country within the European Union, the Act states that the executing country under certain circumstances must approve a further surrender.

On the other hand, if the extradition concerns a country outside the European Union the authorities in the executing country (the country that surrendered the person) must consent such extradition. Sweden cannot, without such consent, extradite a person, for example to the USA.

What happens in Sweden when a person is surrendered from another EU country?

The authority, in this case the Swedish Prosecution Authority, that issued the arrest warrant is responsible for transporting the suspect to Sweden within a stated time frame, once the other member state has taken a decision to surrender the suspect. The Swedish Prosecution Authority may request assistance from the National Police Board, or a police authority specified by the National Police Board, which is what generally occurs.

An order of detention has previously been issued, which is a precondition for the issuing of an arrest warrant. When the individual lands in Sweden, all regulations concerning the arrest warrant as concerns deprivation of liberty are voided and the Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure applies, as in any national case where an order for the arrest of the individual has been issued in his absence.

The Principle of Speciality applies here, i.e. the person surrendered to Sweden may not be tried for any crimes other than those stated in the arrest warrant and may not be surrendered to another state, unless the original surrendering country grants its permission. In addition, the conditions imposed by the surrendering country also apply.

As soon as the obstacle to the presence of the detainee has ceased to apply, i.e. the detainee is on site in Sweden, a "report shall be made to the Court" (Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure, Chapter 24, Section 17). After this the Court will, without delay, hold a hearing concerning the detention issue, not later than 4 days (96 hours) after the time when the obstacle to the presence of the detainee ceased to apply.

Consequently, this is a new detention hearing in the presence of the suspect, where he is able to exercise his rights in a better manner than during the hearing he did not attend, but was represented by his legal representative only. When the detention hearing has been concluded, the Court will immediately issue its decision concerning detention. Either the detention will be cancelled or a new detention decision will be taken. A date by which prosecution must be initiated is also issued. The Court's decision may be appealed.